Kersti Kaljulaid elected President of Estonia


Estonia’s parliament has elected Kersti Kaljulaid as the country’s new President. She won the vote earlier this week by 81 – 0 with 3 abstentions and 17 blank votes.

The process has been especially long and tortuous this time with the in Riigikogu first voting on 29th August and then twice on 30th August 2016 (second and third rounds). Since no candidate received the supermajority of two thirds of the members required, an electoral college (335 members of parliament and local government representatives) was established on 24th September but this also failed to elect a president.

The matter was returned to parliament and the council of elders who met on 27th September and proposed Kersti Kaljulaid. In this final round Kersti Kaljulaid was the only candidate and she was elected with 80% of the vote.

Kersti Kaljulaid (46) will replace Toomas Hendrik Ilves on 10th October. She has a biology degree from the University of Tartu and also an MBA in Business Management. Her first job in 1997 was with the state-owned telecommunications firm Eesti Telefon before progressing to Hansapank. In 1999 she was made an advisor to Prime Minister Mart Laar and joined the Pro Patria Union in 2001 until 2004. In 2004 she became a representative of Estonia in the European Court of Auditors where she remained until her election as President this month.

Kersti Kaljulaid is married with four children.

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